A series of southern german armorials (the Bodensee Group), incl. the Grunenberg, Ingeram, Miltenberg, Donaueschingen, St.Gallen, Uffenbach and Jörg Rugen, are closely related. Most of these armorials include a substantial number of imaginary arms and arms of families given imaginary titles. Many of these can be placed in two groups: the Ternionen (including the Nine Worthies / Neuf Preux / Neun Helden, revised 2017), and the Quaternionen.

KCR: The Chronicle of the Council of Constance 1414-1418, by Ulrich Richental. The edition, 1683 items, are based on the five surving manuscripts (A, Aulendorf / N.Y.Public Library; K, Konstantz / Rosgarten; W, Wien; P, Prague; G, St.Georgen / Karlsruhe) and the two early printings (D, Anton Sorg 1483, 1210 items; S, Heinrich Steiner 1536).

 As this edition is quite complex, I suggest that the reader begins with a cursory glance on the Introduction (1), Versions and derivatives (3), Summary (12), followed by appendix D content of segments and appendix F concordance of all versions based on vs.D. From this the reader might pick whatever suits his/her fancy. 

The printed Sorg edition (vs.D) is available on: .  The Prag manuscript (ms.P) can be reached by signing on as user on: and when accepted search for codex XVI A 17 or Richental.

 The transcription (in German) by Buck of ms.A is on:

ARK: Livro de Arautos (Herald's Book), is an unfinished treatise on heraldry by an anonymous portuguese herald illustrated with coats-of-arms and emblems of chivalric orders collected during the herald's attendance to the Council of Constance  in 1416-1417. The arms (mainly english, german, hungarian, polish, iberian and danish) are described and identified in this edition. The treatise itself, Manchester, John Rylands Library, Ms. latin 28, was transcribed and translated into portuguese by Aires Nascimento (link in ARK, see below).

GRU: Conrad Grünenberg's Wappenbuch, finished 1483, with 2293 coats-of-arms and crests of european  nobles, southern german knightly families, and imaginary arms. The two manuscripts also contain several miniatures and a few textual passages.

With the available ressources it was impossible to find independent information on 365 items, noted as not identified, and listed in the Addendum below.

A b/w facsimile corresponding to this edition is available at Grünenberg WB, München, BSB, Cgm. 145.

Two reprints of the Stillfried facsimile of 1875 was published in 2011: one by Verlag Degener, and one by Edizioni Orsini de Marzo ( ). The latter has an very good critical edition by Michel Popoff with an introduction by Michel Pastoureau (both in french), and is highly recommended.

Since 2009 my research into german arms and families has produced further information, and this, together with the more important points has been collected in the corrections and amendments available below.  A new set of concordances between my edition (BSB numeration), the GStA manuscript and the Popoff/Stillfried numeration has been added.

The SGH: St.Gallen-Haggenberg, painted 1470, includes many arms attributed to ternionen and quaternionen as well as a series of bishops. A photofacsimile of St.Gallen Stiftsbibliothek, Cod.Sang.1084, is available through the Virtual Manuscript Library of Switzerland on

The DWF: Donaueschinger Wappenbuch was alrady much damaged by moisture and loss of material a century ago. About 2003 it was acquired by the Badische Ladesbibliothek in Karlsruhe from the Fürstenberg Library at Schloss Donaueschingen. As Hs.Don.496 it has now been restored and can be consulted. An older photograhic copy is available in the Staatsarchiv Basel. The present edition of 1094 items include 131 reconstructed coats-of-arms and 57 items too damaged to recognize. The contents draw heavily on the KCR, which makes the traditional dating of 1433 untenable. Though there is little evidence on which to base any dating, it is more likely that it was painted during the 1460'es.

The RUG: Jörg Rugens Wappenbuch is named for its author Jörg Rugen al. Georg Rüxner or Rixner, also known as Reichsherold Jerusalem. It is a composite work of 3619 painted coats-of-arms with legends and text written in his own hand, probably during 1493-1499. Several of the items belong to contemporaries mentioned by their christian names. Even though there are many repeats and many miscoloured arms, it is one of the largest german armorials and has most of the types of content found in the group: imaginary arms (kings, ternionen and quaternionen), dioceses, towns, Habsburger dominions, and german nobles, but hardly any foreigners. There are two very unusual parts in it: firstly a series of Four Quarters for ancestors and people mostly related to two noblemen from the Salzburg-Passau region, who were sponsors or helpers in collecting many of the arms; secondly a chronicle of the rulers of Bavaria from time immemorial to c.1500. This chronicle is illustrated with the (in part attributed) arms of the rulers and their wives.

The STU: Stuttgarter Wappenbuch is actually two manuscripts (ms.1, c.1440; ms.2, c.1448) bound as one.

The UFF: Uffenbachsche Wappenbuch might be the earliest german armorial with arms of imaginary realms taken from literature. Besides this and the arms of many germans, it contains arms from Spain, Hungary and Italy besides several famous people who took part in either the anglo-french wars of 1360-1380 or the Nicopoli crusade. It was painted in Strasbourg, but is difficult to date, possibly as early as c.1400, possibly as late as c.1440. The present edition supplements the facsimile editon of 1990 by Werner Paravicini.

The three armorials of fief holders a.k.a. Lehensbücher (Trier 1340, Speyer 1465/68, Pfalz 1471 are a thematic series of papers on a type of insitutional heraldry listing vassals and their conditions for holding fiefs. Normally they would be practical volumes used in chancery until revised with new vassals and for a succeeding overlord. As exception, five volumes illustrated with coats of arms are known - three edited here.

The BTB: Trier Burgmannen is a simple listing with shields of arms of the men serving Balduin of Luxemburg (d.1354)) archbishop-elector of Trier as castle guards and holding fiefs the castle. The list are painted on the reverse side of an picture chronicle of the coronation campaign in Italy made by his brother emperor Heinrich VII in 1310-13.

The edition includes chapters on groups of arms and armorial practice in the County Palatine.

The LBS: Lehensbuch des Bistums Speyer is the German title of a volume listing the vassals of Matthias Rammung (d.1478), bishop of Speyer and chancellor of Kurpfalz, with 75 arms and crests.

The LKF: Lehensbuch des Kurfürsten Friedrich I von Pfalz lists the vassals of Friedrich I (d.1476) the elector of the County Palatine with their arms and crests.

The ZUR: Wappenrolle von Zürich, compiled around 1345 and painted on a parchment roll. This edition includes a photofacsimile of the roll (from the Merz & Hegi edition, 1930) and b/w facsimile drawings of all items (from the Runge edition 1860).

The HZL: Wappenfries im Haus zum Loch, painted 1306, and recreated in the Zürich Landesmuseum. This edition includes photofacsimiles of selected items (from the Merz & Hegi edition).

The coats-of-arms and crests of the MAN: Grosse Heidelberger (Manesse) and Weingartner Liederhandschriften, illustration of the poets or Minnesinger, whose poems are included in these two manuscripts from c.1300.

The commentary on the two 'armorials': OAK: The coronation of Otto IV in Aachen 1198 and QWK: The armorial casket from Quedlinburg (1209), are mainly extracts from the very excellent papers by professor Werner Paravicini of the University of Kiel and former director of the Deutsche Historische Institut in Paris, and of Nathalie Kruppa of the Max-Planck Institute of History in Göttingen. The commentary has been written in support of a paper on early heraldry to be sumitted – and to draw attention to some interesting aspects of continental heraldry. Readers reasonably proficient in german ought to consult the two papers for further details.


How to get it